It was cold.
It was wet.
It was windy.
How fitting that the weather decided to shit in my face for my official return to running at Saturday’s 10k run for Great Strides. I left the house knowing that Joe, my dad and the kids would be staying at home that morning, filling up on a warm pancake breakfast without me.
And I was okay with it.
Wading through the swell that was fast overtaking the parking lot I lamented the likelihood of a sparse turnout. Running in the rain is nice. Running in a typhoon, well, not so nice. By the time I was standing under the park shelter, the rain was coming down not in buckets but in sheets. It was going to be a long and lonely six miles.
And I was okay with it.
The route was two loops around the Raccoon River Lake. It’s a beautiful trail, much of it shaded by towering deciduous trees whose branches tickle the clouds before arching towards one another to form an overhead canopy. I swear every year that I’ll run the loop in the fall, my favorite time of the year, but true to form I always forget.
Rain pelting, I committed one foot in front of the other until I found my stride. After the first mile I didn’t even notice the rain. By the second mile the wind felt good. And by the third…by the third mile my miracle had arrived.
As I was rounding the second curve of the lake and coming up on a small clearing in the tree line that bordered the gravel path, it was as if an invisible hand was peeling back the layers of cloud that covered that miserable Saturday morning sky. Then, little by little, the hole in the sky began to fill with the most amazing sunlight. It was a Technicolor tribute; a buttery warm yellow pouring in from behind a wall of solid black. It very nearly stopped me in my tracks. In a word it was breathtaking.
Des Moines, one of just 600 cities to host Great Strides, raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and while the totals aren't yet official, I know that we exceeded goal for this year's walk. It's true that we don’t yet have our cure, that we're still amidst a brewing storm but this much I do know: the sunshine is coming. It's not here yet but it is coming.
And I’m okay with it.
What's in My Head
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